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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351

    Mountain Bike Ride Up Mount Diablo

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    What a great ride! If you havenít been up Mitchell Canyon either hiking or biking Ė you need to go! Make sure itís a clear day because the views are simply amazing.

    We were a little late arriving at the Mitchell Canyon parking area. There was a run being put on by Redwood Trails (those are some seriously crazy people) and there was a back up as people were paying to get into the park at the self pay station.

    The ride up Mitchell Canyon is quite gradual at first and rather shady. Just watch out for the birders. Theyíre too busy looking up to notice other people on the trail. A recumbent passed us going in the other direction. We wondered where he came from. Since there was a run going on, we had mile markers Ė very cool! At about mile two the trail begins to get steep and has switchbacks. Just after the turn around point for the runís 10 K we stopped and had a banana, chatted with the course worker for the run, then continued on to Deer Flat. I couldnít get over how clear the views off to the Delta were. There were lots of flowers in bloom, a nice breeze blowing - very pleasant.

    At Deer Flat I had wanted to continue on to Prospectorís Gap and take the North Peak trail up to Devilís Elbow. Thom was cool with that plan, but I was a little indecisive. So, we decided to do what seems to be the more conventional route and head up to Juniper to get to Devilís Elbow. Iím really glad we decided to go that way!

    This next section is not for the faint of heart. It starts off fairly gradual, but thatís just to trick you! We could see the first runners below us now. I told Thom that as slow as we were going theyíd catch us and pass us. The road here has a fairly serious gain in altitude! Iím partway up this monster hill when the first runner passes me. We chat a little and then he takes off. I can hear another runner behind me, and Iím sort of taking up the whole road as I ride. Can you say steep and loose? I decide to pull over to the right and let the runners go by. Oh, and it was a good time to let my heart rate come down. I was very pleased that it only took me two tries to get moving again.

    I swear this hill gets steeper. You think itís going to end and youíll be at Juniper, but no, it just keeps on going. And it doesnít even have the decency to have switchbacks. My front wheel pops up just past the intersection with Burma Road. Itís a sign that my lungs can do with anther break. Thom is just below me down the hill. Iím thinking there is just no way that Iím going to be able to get started back up this. But I so donít want to walk my bike. Looking back down the hill I notice the Burma Road intersection. The folks coming off Burma have a short little downhill before having to tackle this devil Iím stuck on. HmmmÖI turn around, roll partway up this little hill. Turnaround again and continue on up the steep monster to Juniper.

    At Juniper we decide that given all the runners on Mitchell Canyon, weíll continue to Devilís Elbow on the road and go down the single track. I was rather apprehensive about the single track Ė and rightly so! If youíve never done this bit of the ride Ė donít! But do go hike it. Itís absolutely beautiful. It hugs the side of the mountain. There are lots of jutting boulders, large tree roots and other obstacles that I just donít have the skills or courage to navigate. A fall the wrong way could be deadly. I spent more time off my bike, and wishing for my trekking poles and boots than on it. But the views!

    Prospectorís Gap was a little bit better in that if you fell, you probably wouldnít fall a thousand feet. But it is very steep and very loose. In fact at one point Thom locked the front wheel on loose rock and just laid the bike down. It was actually kind of fascinating to watch. He rolled right off the bike, almost a somersault and stood right up. Iím glad it was him. I donít think I know how to roll and Iíd have ended up smeared across the rocks.

    Meridian Ridge is also very steep. But the trail surface is much better. There were a couple of groups of hikers in this section. There are sections of washboard through here. Tough on the arms, one of these days maybe weíll get suspension. Once youíre down to Donner itís much less steep.

    We had a great time! Iím hoping that weíll have a few more cool weekends before summer is firmly upon us. We wonít go up to Devilís Elbow again, but do the ride as a shorter loop, omitting that section.


    Veronica

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    20

    Post where is Devilís Elbow?

    Sounds like a great ride Veronica! Would you have like a route sheet to share. It is always nice to go and explore new roads!
    Letty

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Devil's Elbow is just below the Summit of Mount Diablo.

    The link takes you to a PDF map of the Park. The map is on the second page.

    Veronica

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/517/files/mountdiablo.pdf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,672
    That's so funny you would post this today. Lee & I have a friend in Clayton who we visited today, and on the drive over there I looked up Diablo and thought of you !

    So are you going on the Rivendell ride next weekend?

    - Jo.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Yep, we are. We bought a new tent yesterday. Our biking one is really tiny, so we got one for car camping. Since, hey they're lugging all our gear up.

    Thom and I were just talking about how we needed to get together with Mark P. and do a Riv ride. Something not too hard, with a nice bakery at the end. Of course non Riv folks could join us.

    Any suggestions on routes?

    V.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    There was a photographer out for the run the day we mountain biked up Diablo. We're # 9356

    Veronica

    Biking

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    We rode the first part of this ride again today - Mitchell Canyon to Juniper. It's still freakishly steep, but had been graded a bit since 2004. The views are still just as amazing from Deer Flat.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

 

 

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